"FINCHAMPSTEAD, a parish in the hundred of Charlton, county Berks, 4 miles S.W. of Wokingham, its post town, and 9 S.E. of Reading. The Wellington College station on the South-Eastern line is about 2½ miles S.E. of the village. The river Blackwater bounds the parish on the S., which includes the hamlet of West-court. The village is small, and wholly agricultural, but in the vicinity are several handsome residences. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Oxford, value £500. The church is an ancient Norman structure with square tower. It is dedicated to St. James, and contains some, monuments of old families. There are several charities arising from land and other property. There is a Baptist chapel and a free school. A fair is held on 23rd April for cattle at West-court."
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.
Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.